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Zoe Aldcroft excited at prospect of featuring in Women’s Rugby Super Series

Zoe Aldcroft excited at prospect of featuring in Women’s Rugby Super Series
Gloucester-Hartpury skipper Zoe Aldcroft was yesterday named in the England Women starting line-up to take on USA Women in the Red Roses’ opening game of the Women’s Rugby Super Series. It’s a competition she’s looking forward to hugely.

The tournament, which is taking place in San Diego, sees England take on USA, Canada, France and New Zealand – the top five ranked teams in the World according to World Rugby.

England have travelled without a number of players who are ruled out due to injury, including Gloucester-Hartpury’s Tatyana Heard, but Zoe still has three of her club team-mates on tour with her in Natasha Hunt, Kelly Smith and Millie Wood.

The Red Roses kick off against USA Women on Friday (kick off 21:00 BST) and the Gloucester-Hartpury club skipper is looking forward to seeing England pit themselves against the best in the world.

“It should be great. It’s the top five teams in the world, and we’re really looking forward to going out there and testing ourselves against them.

“We’ve been talking about it as a group, and it’s fair to say that it could well be the hardest fought and most challenging tournament since the last World Cup. The standards just keep on getting higher and higher and we have to keep on improving.

“It’s a very important tournament and not just in terms of the results on the pitch. We’ve come away as a group, away from any possible distractions and we’re growing closer and bonding as a group which is very important going forward.”

And it’s not lost upon Zoe that USA Women will be performing in front of a partisan home crowd and also have some familiar faces amongst their coaching staff.

“The opening game against the USA will be a tough start. A couple of the members of their coaching set up have a really good knowledge of our club game – their Head Coach Rob Cain used to coach Saracens and Michaela Staniford, who is part of their S&C team, was an England international until not that long ago.

“We played them back in the Autumn and they tested us, but they’ll be a different proposition on their own turf and will be probably pose a huge challenge in front of a patriotic crowd.”

After the USA game, there is a nine day gap until the Red Roses take on Canada but Simon Middleton’s side then face the tough prospect of three games in eight days.

“That’s going to be tough, but that’s the way it is when you’re in a major tournament. We’ll have to make sure that we recover properly and make sure that we’re in the best physical and mental state going into each game.

“There are some short turnarounds, but we have really good strength in depth in the squad and we have confidence in everyone doing their job when called upon.

“We’re all really looking forward to it, all our games are televised and, with the Womens’ game from strength to strength, this is only going to help raise the overall profile.”
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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